As technology continues to evolve, e-learning has become an increasingly “promising alternative to traditional classroom learning” as it provides students with learning materials “quickly, effectively, and economically” (Chuang & Shen, 2008). Currently, there are countless online courses, video sharing platforms, blog posts, and digital textbooks available to facilitate online learning in a wide variety of subjects. Educational video content, in particular, is toted as “a rich and powerful medium being used in e-learning” today, and “the emergence of non-linear, interactive digital video technology allows students to interact with instructional video” in meaningful ways (Chuang & Shen, 2008). It is believed that these learning resources may “enhance learner engagement, and so improve learning effectiveness” (Chuang & Shen, 2008).
In order to better understand the concept of interactive learning and its effectiveness, I studied a free video available on YouTube titled “How the Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio”. This video is currently being used as a learning resource in my own course, which is designed to teach students how the economy works at an introductory level. Naturally, as an educator and learning designer, I was curious to study this video in order to determine how it may facilitate interactive learning specifically when used within my course. This also provided me with an opportunity to pinpoint any areas where it may be possible to improve upon my current learning design should this video not be working optimally for my student’s interactive learning needs.
As discussed by Moore (1989), “There are three different ways learners can interact when studying”.
1. Interaction with learning materials
2. Interaction between students and teacher
3. Student – student interaction
As an educator, my main goal is to provide students with an interactive education that first and foremost encourages them to effectively learn the core requirements of my course. However, as a learning designer, my secondary goal is to ensure that the course materials/resources I utilize will facilitate student curiosity and encourage them to make deeper educational connections that go far beyond the core learning goals of my course. Upon review of this video, I have developed several suggestions to implement into my course learning design after noting that there are numerous ways that we, as educators, can increase the interactivity of this video and ultimately improve student learning.
As an educator, I would insist that the following changes be made in order to improve the interactivity of this video:
1. Break the video up into smaller subtopics. This can be done by giving students timestamps for where they should start and stop watching the video.
- When watching a short video clip, students are provided an opportunity to interact with the learning material in a ‘reflective’ manner.
2. Students should be provided with a quick multiple-choice quiz after watching a small segment of the video.
- This will provide feedback to students regarding their comprehension in a specific educational area before moving onto the next concept
3. Teachers should provide students with questions about the educational content of the video in a way that encourages critical thinking.
- On a public forum, such as YouTube, this could be achieved by asking students to comment their response to the video/questions publicly in the comment section
- Additionally, this would not only be a student-teacher interaction, but also a student-student interaction as educators could encourage their students to read the critical responses of students and respond in-kind with their own critical thinking
Upon review, I noticed that students are likely to respond to the video on their own in the following ways:
1. Students are likely to experience learner-learner interactions, learner-materials interactions, and learner-teacher interactions.
- For example, students may take notes to summarize key topics outlined in the video and then question how the newly learned information relates to their everyday choices as a consumer.
2. Learners may also read through the publicly displayed comment threads within the videos comment forum
- This exposes students to additional information related to the videos subject matter being shared by other viewers.
- This also encourages students to question what they are learning and actively build upon their knowledge base, out of curiosity, by making connections to topics not specifically mentioned within the video
3. Students have the opportunity to post questions they may have in the comment form.
- These questions could be directly related to the content of the video, or may only use the video as a launching pad to question distantly related topics – ultimately creating a spider-web effect where students are making multiple connections between their own knowledge base, the knowledge presented in the video, and the knowledge/experience of their fellow peers and viewers within the comment section below.
Going forward the video could have been designed to generate more, or better, activity from viewers or students in the following ways:
1. It would be helpful for the video to pose questions to the viewers that encourage learners to make connections to additional knowledge and learning sources.
2. It would also be helpful if the video (either directly within the video or in the description box) would have provided students with additional ways to continue their learning after watching the video.
- Perhaps the video would link students to blogs and articles containing peripheral knowledge, or more in-depth courses, to broaden the student’s knowledge base and curiosity on the subject material.
3. It would also be great if this video was available in various formats to be more inclusive of all abilities.
- For example, blind students may not fully benefit from the animations in this video in the same way that fully sighted students may benefit. In order to address this, the video should be offered in the described video format.
Chuang, H. M., & Shen, C. C. (2008, July). A study on the applications of information-sharing concepts to the teaching in elementary school. In 2008 International Conference on Machine Learning and Cybernetics (Vol. 1, pp. 174-179). IEEE.
Moore, M. G. (1989). Three types of interaction.